Yesterday I went to see the proofs of the wedding invitations I designed for a friend and I am over- the -moon- in love with them! Not to mention relieved, I was a little intimidated taking on wedding invitations for obvious reasons, but now I am so glad I did. I will definitely do a post of them when I get the final product!
Yesterday I also sent in new button and sticker designs to Busy Beaver and the Sticker Robot and I cannot wait till they arrive! I probably more excited now, at 28, about vinyl stickers and buttons than I was when I was 6.
This is a custom piece I did for a fellow Etsy-er. This piece was inspired by my "Dear Edgar" series, the client requested that I paint a birdcage and a raven in with a little girl in victorian style clothes and ... Viola! If you have an image burning in your heart that you would like to hang on your wall I would love to work with you!
This Mini Painting by Samuel Raymond Fanshaw in the 1800s is beautiful beyond reason
In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, before photographs, people used to carry miniture portraits of their loved ones. The miniature portraits were particularly popular amongst aristocrats, and the portraits were often exchanged amongst family’s to introduce a young woman or man to her betrothed. Mini portraits of of a single eye came in vogue when an adulterous man wanted to carry around an image of his lover but didn’t not want her identity revealed. Scandal! I love this story and I can't wait to go to Philly to see a barrage of little eye paintings first hand.
My friend is very excited ( and so am I ) for me to paint her a tiny portrait of her eye for her boyfriend, she even found a tiny antique pocket frame! In the mean time I had to create some "Eye Portraits" of my own by using prints of "Like Rabbits" and "Ooey Gooey"
I hope wherever you are blooms are starting to peek! In PA it seems everything has exploded in the past day or two. John and I were in Upstate NY for Easter and there was not a tree-bud insight, and we came home to PA and ... FLOOM! Flower Bonanza!
These are a few pictures I took around the yard mostly. We are lucky enough to be renting from a gardener so there are literally hundreds of flowers abounding! My favorite thing of all are the flower boxes, every since I was young I have always loved them so.
I have been busy busy with a few different commisioned projects that I am excited to give updates on soon.
I started this piece yesterday while sitting in the sun with Talula, and I woke up early this morning to finish her. I didn't have any preconceived ideas when I started this piece but now that I have the finished piece looking back at me I am struck by how relevant she is. I noticed the moment I posted her that she looks almost like she is barfing out "lauramuraco.com", which makes total sense considering how much I have devoted to my new site lately.
"I'll Give you my All" is a reflection of probably how I do everything, but namely my art making process. I am absolutely addicted to beauty, and by painting I get a chance to digest all that I find. Not only that, canvas and paper is where I work things out, often without even realizing it until I have the final product staring at me. "I'll Give You My All" will mean many different things over the course of her life, but to me she is a piece about how and why I make art.
I have recently discovered the genius of having the easel upright when I paint, it might be the best thing that ever happened to painting!
Here is a little sneak-peek at one of the necklaces I am working on! This is "Rabbitmoon" and she measures a mear 1 inch in hight and width! I got so excited about the idea of wearable paintings about a year ago when I first made "the bee charmer" and I decided to revisit my little necklaces with a little more color this time. Just in time for spring!
Whaaa, it is when I see things like this, I miss living in Brooklyn most. Tara McPherson (one of my favorites) recently opened a new gallery called The Cottoncandy Machine in Williamsburg. The current show "Tiny Trifecta", is an exhibit of 100+ artists, $100 tiny art, on the 100th day of the year. I want to be there so bad it hurts. I am only an hour and half away, I am going to have to make it work before the 1st of May when the show ends!
Yay Spring!!! I am so excited to shead my sweaters for dresses and skirts! As much as I love seeing all the flowers and trees bloom for the season change, sometimes I wonder if I would trade seasons for a pair of sandals year round. That must be the Florida baby in me, I spent much of my first 6 years living down South and that just set my station to - Warm.
This Spring, I have been really into scarves, pins and cardigans, they make even a tee-shirt look ladylike. Which brings be to a very exciting recent discovery, I have just found that friend of mine from collage has her own fantastic line of Military inspired pins!
These amazing pins by Beatrice Pearl are so whimsical and smart, I can't wait to get one myself!
daisies by our window
sleeping in the spring sun
John, Talula and I spent much of our Saturday laying out in the sun, which just might be my favorite thing do do in the whole world.
"frienemies"Lydia and Talula
I am going to make some coffee now and finish working on the Wedding Invitations I finishing up. I am so excited because this is the first project I have done of this nature, I was a little nervous but I just dove right in and they are turning out quite cute, I will share them when they are done <3
"I Couldn't Tell if I was Dreaming" is about the transformative time between thoughts, floating between sleeping and waking, it is laughing and crying at once, it is both the softest drop of nothing and too loud to bear. All things in one.
She started out as a tiny sketch in my 3" pocket-sketchbook I used to carry around on the trains with me when I lived in NYC. That is usually when I got the most interesting images, just zoned out on the train allowing whatever characters that wanted to emerge, like catching a daydream.
*This is the original little sketch. I like how tiny the bears toes are, hehe
The Hamsa is said to ward off the Evil Eye, and this little baby is made to be hung in your home where ever you would like a little protector to be. I created this piece using a ceramic bead and a weighted vintage style doll eye. "Hamsa with Bow" will soon be available in my shop
Today I spent the whole day cleaning and John got me some fresh flowers for the house, it feels so good to relax in a sparking home. Tonight's agenda: lighting some of my favorite candles, (something I always feel compelled to do after I finish cleaning) playing scrabble and maybe even curling up to watch a Disney movie, I am such a dork - hehe.
I have found it to be quite a challenge to do all the things I love, but also a very joyful and enriching process as well. Although it feels impossible at times, and like some people must have a stash of elves working for them, I am convinced it is, in fact, quite possible, and even fun! I say this very lightly because I am a work in progress for sure!
My personal goals are to; meditate daily, run and do yoga, maintain a clean and tidy home, eat healthy and concisely prepared meals, work (I am home by 2.30), be a good pet mama and wife, paint, run an online shop, and blog -phew.
So far I have it all on the wagon (most of the time) but the exercise bit, and the conscious meals thing is hanging by a thread, those always seem to be the most at risk! But I am not giving up! I will pull my Yoga mat, and lug Running shoes back onto my Caravan of Dreams waving my steamed broccoli high, and ride off into the sunset of healthy aging.
I am sure this issue of "how to do it all" is something that we all can relate to and I would love to hear other people's tips and discoveries! For me I have found a few things that are my go-tos for strength:
1. Sleep! I always shoot for 10 pm bedtime and 6 am wake up.
2 and 3. Routine and Balance. I have found the solution is in doing a little of everything everyday and then block times of the week for the heroic hour or more hours stretches a certain task. For example, I tidy up everyday, put away all my clothes and dishes before bed to avoid clutter build up, then Sunday is house cleaning day and I spend a few hours doing laundry, dusting, vacuuming, bathrooms etc.. This manages my time and balances it so I don't feel overwhelmed with too many options, and I feel a sense of accomplishment for meeting my daily task.
4. Grounding! This is one I have implemented in the past few years and it is so vital! Especially with all the EMF and radio waves flying around everywhere. Grounding is this easy- go outside and touch a tree! That is it - you’re done! If you want to go really crazy you can even take off your shoes and stand barefoot on the Earth for a super turbo blast of grounding! I have heard that grounding has the same calming and centering effect an infant gets from nursing, and I have found from experience that I instantly feel more at peace and clear when I am outside and barefoot- never fails. The other part of grounding is sunlight, the sun is sooo crucial, not only for the vitamins, but it also opens and expands your consciousness. Way. Direct sun exposure opens the Pineal gland which is the center Yogis refer to as the 3rd eye, this is the center of intuition or pure knowledge.
5. Being flexible! Relaxing!Loving myself through thick and thin! It is all about wiring and rewiring the brain, which takes time, patience and consistency.
Cheers to doing all the things we love to do! xoxo!
"Akiko and Haru" are now available in my shop, 50% of the proceeds will be donated to Japan Relief via the American Red Cross. The pictures came out a bit washed, it is quite trying to capture an image with so much white, but, C'est la vie. I just adore these two! I really wanted to keep the images very soft, almost like a vintage photograph with a modern minimalist twist. I thought also felt that the tiny red bows on the frames were the perfect accent to the bright water colored flowers framing the portraits.
If you look closely you can see a delicate line connecting their hearts, that is how I imagine we all are right now to varying degrees , little lines from our hearts to the hearts of Japan.
I also will be donating 100% of the profit of the three "Love Letters" to Japan Relief, you can find them in my shop
I love this sweet story about the "Root Children" who are the flowers, they go to sleep all winter long and when Mother Earth comes to wake them for Spring, they must first sew new brightly colored dresses to wear as they come back up to the Spring Sun.
Jessica and Faun got Izzy's message! Horray! One thing I did not mention about Izzy and Faun is that they are not very large in size at all, 3 inches from toe to head to be precise, that is a bit shorter than a wooden matchstick, and their heads are that the size of Mr. Washington's on a Quarter.
I cannot speak for both of them but Izzy for one does not mind her size, infact she much prefers her tiny stature. She can sleep in a match box, hide almost anywhere, swim in a jar of beans and her belly is so tiny she never has to worry for food. Being small sounds quite nice when you consider all of those things
I am currently working on a new series of pieces and I wanted to show you the first steps of my process.
1. Draw image onto canvas and set by spraying with workable fixative, normally I would gesso and sand my canvas before this step but I am trying a different approach for this painting as you will see in step 2.
2. This approach to gessoing is different that my usual approach, typically I cover the entire image but I wanted to experiment with having different densities of paint for atmosphere and depth so I applied gesso only to the key fixtures in the painting and left the negative space blank to absorb the paint more.
3. In Photoshop I do a quick color sketch to determine what type of color pallet I would like for this piece.
4. I set up a small set using paper and a Ball Jointed Doll model. This is for me to map out shadows and tones.
5. The next steps are slowly layering paint onto the canvas from darks to lights till you get the final product!